By Kara Arundel
In explaining why schools cannot phase-in in-person learning options based on a student’s “race, color or national origin,” OCR said such preferences would violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, schools may be required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide in-person services to certain students with disabilities so those students can receive a “free appropriate public education.”
The nine-page Q&A document also emphasized that schools must still accept harassment complaints and investigate the allegations under the new Title IX rule, which went into effect Aug. 14 even if schools are only offering distance learning. Schools are not allowed to have blanket policies that prohibit new complaints from being submitted and accepted or to pause investigations and proceedings.
Source: Ed Dept: Schools can prioritize reopenings for students with disabilities | Education Dive
By Matt O’Donnell
Benicia High School defensive end Miles Bailey hasn’t played a snap for the 2020-21 season yet. That hasn’t stopped colleges from taking notice.
Bailey, a 6-foot-4, 241-pound junior, is being recruited by schools like Colorado, Colorado State, Cal, Fresno State and San Jose State after attending two football showcases.
Scouts were impressed by Bailey after the Elite Underclassmen Camp in Las Vegas and the Best of the West Showcase in Reno.
Source: Benicia High defensive lineman Miles Bailey is now a three-star recruit – Times-Herald
Solano College Theatre debuts its first digital live play, “Fuddy Meers,” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Just think: The concession stand is open at a kitchen nearest you and the line for the bathroom will be shorter than ever.
“Fuddy Meers” illustrates a world in which nothing is as it seems, hardly anyone can be understood, and trusting the wrong person can get you locked in the basement with a foul-mouthed sock puppet, hit over the head with a frying pan or hauled over the Canadian border.
Source: Solano College Theatre offers ‘Fuddy Meers’ Friday, Saturday
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today congratulated 33 California public schools that have been chosen as 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools. This prestigious award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that close achievement and opportunity gaps and where students achieve high learning standards.
“Congratulations to these schools for creating and sustaining tremendous programs that allow students to reach their full potential, leading to a successful future,” Thurmond said. “This recognition is well-deserved, and these programs are a model of success that we can all look to in terms of ensuring that all students are thriving.”
Source: 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Announced – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)
By Peter Fournier
Alejandro “Jando” Lara still wants to step up to the plate in a Major League Baseball ballpark someday, even if his last three years have seen a lifetime’s worth of obstacles placed in the way, making the journey longer than he’d like.
It’s a simple path for most worthy prospects: high school ball, college ball, the MLB draft and then the minor leagues – if you’re good enough.
And Lara has shined when he’s been able to perform at his best on the diamond – when “he’s been able to” being the key words to his so-far chaotic collegiate career just 30 miles away from his hometown at UC Davis.
Source: Vanden grad Lara pushes past obstacles in quest for hopeful MLB career
By Kara Arundel
Rain or shine, snow or no snow, the students of Homestead School, a private Montessori in Glen Spey, New York, will be spending a good part of their school days outside. There they will learn about vertebrates, biodiversity, writing poetry and more.
Using the campus’ 85 acres was the best and safest way school leaders determined in-person learning could continue amid a pandemic.
“We put our attention to how we could move experiential learning outdoors. We thought it was so important to get the kids back on campus,” said Nisha Gupta, head of financial affairs, head of curriculum, and a middle school teacher at Homestead School.
Source: Ed leaders share best practices for reopening schools | Education Dive
By Matt O Donnell
The Napa County Office of Education announced Thursday that four Napa County school districts will open for hybrid in-person instruction on Monday, Oct. 26.
That includes nearby American Canyon High School.
“American Canyon High School is eager to welcome those students who choose to come back to in person learning in the safest possible way,” Principal Crystal Lopez told the Times-Herald in an email. “The Napa Valley Unified School District has partnered closely with Napa County Office of Education and Napa County Public Health for protocols and guidance for our planned phased reopening of schools.”
Source: Napa County School District announces reopening for Oct. 26 – Times-Herald
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun School District created a five-phase plan several months ago for an evolving teaching environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
District officials were expecting changes to happen – and they did.
A big change happened Tuesday when Solano County moved from the state’s purple tier for Covid-19 monitoring to the red tier, which allows schools to reopen for in-class instruction.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees hold off on changes to school reopening plans
As most of you are already aware, Solano County moved from the purple tier to the less-restrictive red tier in the state’s color-coded reopening matrix yesterday. This shift is based on the improved condition in our county with regard to numbers of cases of COVID and other related factors. This is good news and hopefully marks a trend that will continue with our adherence to the safety precautions and protocols that we all are so familiar with.
As has been reported previously, schools in counties that are in the red tier are eligible to reopen with precautions in place. Those precautions, again, are all of the ones that we are so used to. Should conditions remain as they are over the next several weeks, or improve, schools in Solano County will be eligible to reopen on October 13th.
Source: Status Change And Reopening Of Dixon Unified School District | Dixon, CA Patch
The Fairfield-Suisun School District’s Public Safety Academy is among the best high schools in the nation, according to a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking.
The Public Safety Academy ranks 1,048 out of nearly 18,000 schools, placing it first in Solano County and 145th in California.
This is the second year in a row that the Public Safety Academy has received this recognition.
PSA ranked 1,492nd in the nation in 2019 and 226th in the state.
Source: PSA moves up in nationwide best high schools ranking
By Anya Kamenetz
From shiny red pencils reading “My Attendance Rocks!” to countless plaques and ribbons and trophies and certificates and gold stars: For as long as anyone can remember, taking attendance — and rewarding kids for simply showing up — is a time-honored school ritual.
For good reason: Just being there, day in, day out, happens to be one of the most important factors that determines a child’s success in school. And average daily head count forms the basis of school funding decisions at the federal, state and local level.
Yet now, like so many other aspects of education, that simple measure — “here” or “absent” — is not so simple anymore. States are having to update their attendance policies to cover the realities of virtual learning. And where school is being held in-person, strict coronavirus health protocols mean students must now stay home at the slightest sign of illness, or to quarantine in case of a potential exposure.
Source: With Students Attending School Virtually, Taking Roll Is Not So Simple : NPR
By Richard Bammer
As it has since the founding of our nation in the late 18th century, the Electoral College is the formal body which elects the president and vice president of the United States.
And for nearly as many years, some federal legislators have called for its abolition with a constitutional amendment and advocated for direct election of the president by registered eligible voters.
Yet, as established in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, the Electoral College remains legally in place and will determine the outcome of the 2020 election.
Source: A call for Constitution Essay Contest entries – The Reporter
By Daily Republic Staff
Nearly 150 early care and education professionals experienced a day of learning in a virtual format Saturday during the annual Quality Counts Solano, Early Childhood Education Conference.
Solano County Office of Education partnered with First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission, Child Start Inc., Solano Community College and Solano Family and Children’s Service to sponsor this year’s conference aimed at furthering the educational experiences of Solano County’s youngest students.
Source: Solano ECE virtual conference draws 150 participants
By Richard Bammer
A national magazine ranked Fairfield-Suisun Unified’s Public Safety Academy among the best high schools in the nation, school district officials have announced.
U.S. News & World Report, in what the officials said was its most comprehensiveranking yet of American high schools, ranked the Fairfield academy at 1,048 out of nearly 18,000 schools, or among the top 18 percent nationwide, placing it first in Solano County and 145th in California, Tim Goree, the district’s executive director of administrative services and community engagement, said in a press release.
The magazine’s rating is the second in as many years from the magazine. Last year, the magazine ranked the PSA, as the 230 Atlantic Ave. school is called for short, as 1,492nd in the nation and 226th in the state.
Source: National magazine rates FSUSD high school tops in Solano County – The Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
The Solano County Office of Education said officials are in the “watch and wait” mode as the county shifts into a less stringent level on the state’s COVID-19 framework.
The downgrade from purple to red tier was announced Tuesday by the state Department of Public Health.
Should the county maintain red status for 14 consecutive days, Solano schools could return to in-person instruction.Currently, local schools must operate via distance learning.
Source: Coronavirus: Solano County Office of Education “watching and waiting” – The Reporter
By Tim Goree
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s Public Safety Academy (PSA) is among the best high schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. In its most comprehensive ranking yet of America’s high schools, Public Safety Academy ranks 1,048 out of nearly 18,000 schools, placing it 1st in Solano County and 145th in California.
This is the second year in a row that the Public Safety Academy has received this recognition from U.S. News & World Report. In 2019, PSA ranked 1,492nd in the nation and 226th in the state. Since that time, the PSA marked significant improvement in the factors considered, which include college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, and graduation rates.
Source: Press Release: FSUSD’s Public Safety Academy #1 in Solano County
By Richard Bammer
In an hour-long virtual news conference, Monday, state schools chief Tony Thurmond announced new efforts to combat increased cases of hate, bigotry and racism in California schools and communities, the “Education to End Hate” initiative.
Thurmond said that the California Department of Education will lead a series of strategies— including educator training grants, partnerships with community leaders, and virtual classroom sessions — that uses the power of education to create a more just society.
“We do not need any more evidence that our country is facing two pandemics: coronavirus and hate. It feels like every day we are seeing heartbreaking examples: more anti-Semitic behavior, bullying of Asian American students because of our president’s rhetoric, Islamophobia, discrimination of our LGBTQ neighbors, and violence directed at people of color,” Thurmond said. “It’s time to double down on our efforts to combat all forms of hate, bias, and bigotry. By digging deeper into the complexities of our diverse and difficult histories — not denying or ignoring them — I believe education can provide the pathway to healing, understanding, and racial and social justice.”
Source: State schools chief announces new initiative: ‘Education to End Hate’ – The Reporter
By Todd R. Hansen
Restaurants will soon be open to indoor dining and Solano County residents may soon return to their places of worship.
Of course, there will still be plenty of elbow room.
Solano County is expected Tuesday to be moved from the most-restrictive purple tier into the less-restrictive red tier in the state’s color-coded monitoring system, a move that also will allow schools to open to classroom instruction in two weeks.
Source: Solano moving into less-restrictive red tier on state’s Covid ladder
Elementary schools in Sonoma County can now apply for waivers allowing them to bring students back into the classroom, but county Superintendent of Schools Steve Herrington is urging school leaders and parents to proceed with caution.
“Everyone needs to know that children are a protected class, and so when you look at a store operation versus a school operation, it has a higher standard protocol,” Herrington said. “You cannot compare a school to Home Depot or Raley’s or Safeway.”
Source: Sonoma County Elementary Schools Can Now Apply for In-Person Waivers – CBS San Francisco
By John Fensterwald/EdSource
The first significant change to the state’s 7-year-old K-12 funding system, the Local Control Funding Formula, is a signature away from becoming law.
But if Gov. Gavin Newsom accepts the recommendation of his advisers at the California Department of Finance and ignores the Legislature’s near-unanimous vote favoring the significant reform, he’ll veto the legislation within the next few weeks. Hundreds of nonprofits and civil rights groups signed a letter last week urging him not to do that; signing it instead would ensure that funding for “our highest-need, most vulnerable students is actually directed to support them,” the letter said.
Assembly Bill 1835 would end what advocates for years have called a glaring loophole that undermines the funding law’s cardinal purpose, which is to provide additional funding for four groups of underserved students: English learners, low-income students, homeless and foster children.
Source: First big reform of California’s education funding law awaits governor’s signature – Times-Herald